Friday, August 28, 2009

....and new seasons begin

The 2009-2010 school year started this week in Dublin. Nathan began the seventh grade at Grizzell Middle School, Ian went into the 9th grade at Dublin Jerome HS...and I began to feel like an old man. Both boys have been working toward their new beginnings all summer, with preparations for their respective fall sports seasons.

Nathan went through summer conditioning and two-a-days to prepare for the football season. He has already played two scrimmages in which he started at center and logged a lot of playing time at defensive back. He worked really hard in conditioning seesions and it is paying off for him. At the end of a recent scrimmage, the mother of one of his teammates commented that she had noticed how hard Nathan was working in practices. She stated that he finished first in all of the wind sprints which come at the end of each practice. When I congratulated Nathan, he was modest and said that the only reason he won each race was because he "ran with the hogs" on the offensive line. As with everything he does, we are extremely proud of him.

Ian started preparing for high school soccer back in June. He would do weight training in the morning, and would attend open field scrimmages in the afternoon. In July, he broke his right arm in a collision with another player in one of the open field sessions. He wore a cast (which his trainer wrapped with a huge, hideous foam contraption) for all of his remaining scrimmage games - during which he started at center midfield. Some Columbus Crew players (Robbie Rogers, Danny O'Rouke, and others) signed his cast. After this, Ian didn't let anyone else sign it. The cast was removed last week, just in time for his first game, against Westerville North, which will be played on Tuesday, September 1st.

Michele has joined the PTO, and was very active in freshman orientation activities. Tonight, she and the boys attended the tailgate party before the first Jerome football game of the season.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another season ends...

I can't believe that summer is almost over. When I was younger, the conclusion of baseball season was always a foreboding that the end of the summer was near and that the FUN would soon become a little less free-spirited and a lot more structured. The end of summer baseball season meant that the dread would be ever-present, as a return to school was imminent.

Nathan had a good season of baseball in the Dublin Youth Athletics Bronco Major League. At the end of the post season tournament, he was chosen as an all-star. This meant that he was eligible to play in the annual all-star tournament. His all-star team was called the Dublin BLOOD PIES. The league commissioner stated that he wanted to name the team after "something Irish." He was hungry, so he came up with the Bangers, Mashers, & Blood Pies (all Irish food). While Blood Pies is an unusual name for a baseball team, it sure beat playing for the Dublin Haggis or the Dublin Fish & Chips.

In the final all-star game, Nathan made a crazy, diving catch in the outfield to rob the other teams big hitter of a sure triple. If the cameras had been rolling, I'm certain that you would have seen it on ESPN's Top Ten Plays. Of course, I could be a little biased...

That's Nathan in the back row, first on the right, and trying hard not to smile. I'm sure some of you will have questions about the kid in the front. Did you ever see the (original) Bad News Bears? By the way, this classic is on my list of the top five sports movies ever made. Maybe I'll have a separate post about this topic sometime. Anyway, the kid in the front row is the real-life version of Tanner Boyle. During the trophy award ceremony on the field after the game, I expected him to yell, "Hey Yankees, you can take your apology, and your trophy, and stick them straight up your @$#%!" while non-alcoholic beer sprayed everywhere. It would have been 1976 all over again.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Carolina STILL in my mind

It's been over a month since our return from vacation in Charleston, SC. So now I'm longing to go back! These family getaways bring out the best in each of us, and remind us of what is important...
each other.

While visiting, we stopped at Rosebank Farms on Johns Island. This place is one of our favorite stops on the road back from Kiawah Island. Michele and I first stopped here in 1992 (B.C. - before children) for peaches, tomatoes, and fresh seafood - our beach staples. Rosebank is much, much more than a roadside stand. They also have a menagerie of low-country farm animals, which include chickens, rabbits, goats, pigs, cows, mules, and others. Since Michele has a special connection with all animals, you can guess where she gravitates when we visit...

Michele and a new friend.

Nathan inherited Michele's love of animals. I'm somewhat surprised that we did not "accidentally" drive away with a new pet hidden in the backseat. And yes, his teeth are blue...a result of his new blue braces and Grape Nehi.

Ian found a friend in Bluebell the Mule.

My niece Jessie recently blogged about skimboarding. Ian first learned to skimboard when he was 7, and has gotten to the point where he makes it look easy (it's not, so I don't even try anymore).

This was the first beach vacation in which we were able to take the entire family. Suzanne and Mark were kind enough to invite Guinness, too! She handled the drive well, and was a real good dog. Of course, driving 1400 miles affords many opportunities for riding with your head out of the window, so she was an extremely happy pooch. Although it is not the best photo, I love how Michele and Guinness appear to have the same facial expression. Like mother like daughter, I guess...

We can't wait to do it all again, soon!